Since 2014 flexible working has been something that every employee with over 26 weeks service has the right to request and many do, but unfortunately it seems that many businesses still find it so hard to deal with that these requests they are all too often denied.
Women are more likely to ask for flexible working and it’s no surprise that in a lot of cases this is after they have become mothers. This doesn’t make them any less capable of doing their job, rather that they would just like to change the way they do it a little. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a blog about gender equality, this is just about treating people fairly. Additionally flexible working also benefits health and wellness in employees. Head over to Instagram and take a look at Mother Pukka who is a champion of the Flexible Working cause.
Working from home, change of location, reduced hours, shift patterns, flexi-time could all help accommodate flexible working and this needn’t only be for office workers, the NHS amongst others now includes flexible working opportunities in its recruitment.
Businesses need to be more flexible when thinking about flexible working. If you think ‘it won’t work’ then chances are never will. It’s more than likely what works in one industry will not work in other, or even across different roles in the same company for that matter but that doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved.
In 2018 a survey of small businesses found that 67% of employers did offer flexible working but far less had formal policies in place. 73% of employees surveyed said that having a flexible working arrangements in place had increased their satisfaction at work.
Virgin offer unlimited annual leave to their senior managers similarly Netflix and Groupon arrangements in place. Although this prospect is a little scary at first, after all there is the possibility of it being taken advantage of, or that it might not be taken advantage of enough it may also increase productivity and makes your business stand out from others which would be a positive thing for potential applicants, in fact 77% percent of employees do consider flexible working opportunities when they are looking for a new role.
Do lot of the concerns come down to trust? Does that employee really need to leave at 2:30 for the school run? Remember that you hired them, you have faith in them to work for you and you pay them to do so, why would you be doing all that if you don’t trust them that much? We believe that surely it is better to make reasonable adjustments to your business to accommodate flexible working and retain the talent you value, than to lose them altogether.
Here at vivoHR we have adopted a flexible approach, and it works just fine. We will never leave our clients with no one to talk to and we are truly trusted to manage our own work. That in turn drives us to do the best we can and will put in the extra time when we know it is needed.
If you are presented with a request for flexible working and are unsure what to do about it don’t panic! Think about what could work for you and your employee, offer it as a trail arrangement to see if it is workable and review the situation regularly, of course we are always on hand to discuss it with you too.
It would seem that working 9 to 5, isn’t the only way to make a living.